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June 13, 2018
Even though Trump administration is known for its anti-cannabis policies, but interestingly enough the president himself has made various statements that hint at cannabis reforms. Last week, US senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner finally presented the STATES Act, a bill that would provide legislative cover to every state regarding the legalization of marijuana.
While talking to journalists at press pool in the White House, the president’s answer to one of the question suggests that he might support the bill if it sees approval from the Congress. President Trump is known for his erratic disposition. Therefore, cannabis proponents are hoping that he might end up ratifying the bill if federal lawmakers don’t kill it in the Congress.
It is worth mentioning that the main sponsor of the bill Sen. Cory Gardner belongs to Colorado, which is considered a cannabis pioneer state. Gardner initially opposed the adult-use legalization of cannabis in his home state. Later, he admitted that legalization was the need of the hour. Gardner has even become an active cannabis reformer, so much so that he has joined hands with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to put forward the STATES Act on the floor of Congress.
The bill actually advocates the implementation of the Tenth Amendment in its truest sense. In simple words, the bill would protect statewide legal marijuana operations from federal crackdowns and allow cannabis businesses to use banking and insurance facilities like any other conventional industry.
Gardner has Offered Substantial Resistance to Jeff Sessions
The US attorney general is well-known for his detestation for all things cannabis. In the start of this year, he rescinded Cole memo, putting the statewide cannabis programs in jeopardy. Soon after, Sen. Gardner blocked the nominees for justice department from Colorado. He only ended this confrontation after the presidential assurance that the state’s cannabis program would not be invaded by the federal administration.
Even before formally presenting the STATES Act in Congress, Gardner called on the president and briefed him about the scope of the bill. As per Sen. Gardner, the president has liked the gist of the bill.
Trump Might Ratify the STATES Act
Last week, President Trump had an over 20-minute chat with reporters at the Capitol. From North Korea to Cannabis, he was showered with questions on a plethora of topics. One reporter also asked the president about the future of the STATES Act. Much to the surprise of many, Trump actually replied positively and said that he might endorse the bill.
Both chief sponsors of the STATES Act are pleased by the presidents’ comment on the bill. They are hopeful that the president’s encouraging comment and the support from both sides of the aisle will give the bill a much-needed strength in the Senate.
Lawmakers from the lower chamber of the Congress are also supporting the Warner-Gardner legislation. Moreover, a companion bill has also been presented on the House floor that demands the amendment to change the status of cannabis in the federal law book. Interestingly, this bill has also been sponsored by Republican and Democratic representatives.